Editing Principles and Practices

To provide a consistent, professional service, Pure English has adopted a set of editing principles and practices based on authoritative reference works for the English language. All our editors edit documents in accordance with these editing principles and practices.

Which English?

English has many variants around the globe. Most prominent among these are British English and American English. Other variants include those in Australia, South Africa, Singapore and India.

Pure English edits documents according to British English or American English only. You choose the language variant in which you want the document to be edited. Pure English editors then edit accordingly. If you do not explicitly make a choice, British English is used.

British English and American English are defined by the texts in the Reference Texts section below.

Reference Texts

Pure English uses a number of authoritative reference texts to define its editing principles and practices. These include:

  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage by H. W. Fowler and R. W. Burchfield (ed.)
  • Chambers Guide to Grammar and Usage by George W. Davidson
  • Modern American Usage: A Guide by Wilson Follett and Erik Wensberg
  • Garner’s Modern American Usage by Bryan A. Garner
  • The Oxford Style Manual by Robert Ritter
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
  • The Chicago Manual of Style by University of Chicago Press Staff
  • New Hart's Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors adapted by Robert Ritter (OUP)
  • 2009 AP Stylebook – The Journalist’s “Bible” edited by Darrell Christian, Sally Jacobsen and David Minthorn
  • Style Manual: For Authors, Editors and Printers (Australian Government publication published by Wiley Australia)
  • Butcher’s Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Copy-editors and Proofreaders by Judith Butcher, Caroline Drake, and Maureen Leach
  • The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications byAmy Einsohn
  • Technical Editing: The Practical Guide For Editors And Writers (Hewlett-Packard Press) by Judith Tarutz
  • The Business Writer’s Handbook by Gerald Alred, Walter Oliu, and Charles Brusaw
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Language Association)
  • Cambridge Grammar of English: A Comprehensive Guide by Ronald Carter and Michael McCarthy
  • New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors: The Essential A-Z Guide to the Written Word (OUP)
  • Oxford Guide to Plain English by Martin Cutts
  • Roget’s International Thesaurus, 6th Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer (Collins Reference)
  • Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right by Bill Bryson
  • Divided by a Common Language by Christopher Davies and Jason Murphy.

Spelling

Pure English spells words as defined in the Oxford English Dictionary. This dictionary contains spellings for variants of English, including British English and American English. The correct spelling for the variant of the language being edited is used.

Usage

Pure English edits documents using the following usage references:

  • American English uses Garner’s Modern American Usage by Bryan A. Garner
  • British English and all other variants use The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage by H. W. Fowler and R. W. Burchfield (ed.).

Grammar

Pure English edits documents using the following grammar reference:

  • All variants of English use Cambridge Grammar of English: A Comprehensive Guide by Ronald Carter and Michael McCarthy.

Punctuation

Pure English edits documents using the following punctuation references:

  • American English uses The Chicago Manual of Style by University of Chicago Press Staff
  • British English and all other variants use The Oxford Style Manual by Robert Ritter.

Styles

If you have specific style guidelines that must be used, Pure English edits accordingly, wherever possible. If you do not require a specific style or the style guidelines you supply do not cover a particular matter, the following styles apply:

  • American English uses The Chicago Manual of Style by University of Chicago Press Staff
  • British English and all other variants use The Oxford Style Manual by Robert Ritter.